Protest has always been about those who have less power trying to get what they need from those who have more.
Today we live a world where power is increasingly concentrated in the hands of an elite leadership, some elected, some not, who have unprecedented control over the shape of the world the rest of us must live in.
This power elite is failing us. Despite all the fine words about climate change from many political and business leaders, emissions continue to rise faster than the IPCC's worst-case scenario. The hunt for still more oil to pump from the ground and into the atmosphere goes on as hungrily as ever, and even in rich nations with good renewable energy resources like Britain, plans are underway for new coal-fired power stations – simply because energy from coal is so cheap.
To stop runaway climate change against this background, we need a binding international agreement which drastically reduces emissions at incredible speed. But jockeying between states out to protect their national economic interests combined with intense lobbying by corporate fossil fuel interests mean that the UN negotiations have been dangerously diluted and undermined.
The highest aspirations of any politicians of the wealthy developed nations fall far, far short of the necessary cuts in emissions identified by the science:
The best deal even being considered right now would give us a 50% chance of avoiding runaway climate change.
What's more, the sole mechanism up for discussion to achieve the inadequate targets being put forward is the foundation of a new global market in carbon emissions. Given what a mess bankers and brokers have made of the global economy, the idea that we are going to entrust them with the entire future of the human race is frankly terrifying.
Humanity deserves better than this. The politicians and bankers and businessmen have proved that they cannot be trusted to sort this problem out on their own. So what are you waiting for?